Tuesday, November 6, 2012

David Friedman: Who Do I Want To Win?

A further argument is that when Romney talks a free market line but fails to act it, those of us who actually believe in free markets will get blamed for the resulting failures. That, after all, is what happened with the Bush administration. I do not expect either Obama's policies or Romney's to succeed, and if policies are going to visibly fail, I would prefer that they be blamed on someone else. That is an argument in favor of Obama. 
My conclusion is that I have little reason to want Romney to win, some reason to want him to lose. I am not confident of that conclusion—one can argue that Romney would be likely to appoint better Supreme Court justices, a point some libertarians have been making in his favor. One can speculate that the influence of the tea party Republicans might push Romney into being a better president than he wants to be. But the spectacle of the Bush administration is a strong argument on the other side.
If I switch the question from what I ought to want to what I do want, from reason to emotion, the result changes. I will be happy if Obama loses, unhappy if he wins.
Human beings have a tendency, perhaps unfortunate, to view the world as us vs them. Obama's supporters are, on the whole, people whose political views are more sharply opposed to mine than those of Romney's supporters. Insofar as my hardwired instincts are trying to sort political struggles into the categories of friend and foe, it is clear which side they put me on. If I think of the election as a football match, I may not be cheering one side, but I am definitely booing the other. Obama's defeat will be a crushing blow for a lot of people who I am inclined to disagree with and disapprove of—and a good thing too. That's my gut level response.-http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2012/11/who-do-i-want-to-win.html

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